Goshen — Goshen residents and businesses face the prospect of higher property taxes after the Al Turi landfill's property assessment was cut by $11 million. The landfill, once one of the town's biggest taxpayers, was taxed $112,797 this year. If the town's tax rate were to stay the same, the landfill would pay only $29,612 next year.
Goshen — Goshen residents and businesses face the prospect of higher property taxes after the Al Turi landfill's property assessment was cut by $11 million.
The landfill, once one of the town's biggest taxpayers, was taxed $112,797 this year. If the town's tax rate were to stay the same, the landfill would pay only $29,612 next year.
Exacerbating that loss of revenue — from what the landfill owners contend was years of overassessment — is the town's projection of lower mortgage and sales tax revenues in the coming year.
"It would be like a business closing down and moving away," said Supervisor Doug Bloomfield. "Because what they don't pay in tax revenue, somebody else has to pick up the slack."
And that slack could grow if the town has to refund overpaid taxes since 2000 that the landfill is still challenging.
Even the latest assessment, which was slashed from $15.2 million to $4 million, has been challenged.
The landfill owners, Louis Corso and Nicholas and Thomas Milo, all of New York, believe negotiations should cover overassessments going back eight years. The town wants to deal with only the last three years.
The landfill's attorney, Edward Beane of White Plains, wouldn't say much regarding the issue, which is still unresolved in state Supreme Court. "You don't negotiate in public," he said.
The owners contend that the 272-acre landfill property, which closed in 2003 after a failed attempt to expand, is unusable after having spent years as a dump.
The town's position is that only half of the property was used as a dump and that remainder could still have some potential use. For instance, some non-dump parcels were sold and the landfill is selling methane gas produced from the decomposing waste.
The landfill case is not the only tax headache the town faces. Years of assessment challenges from other businesses and homeowners are now being resolved. At least one-third of the cases were dismissed because they were missing information or were too old, said Assessor Jo Ann Soules.
Neither Soules nor Bloomfield could say how much money the town could end up repaying the landfill once negotiations are complete. "I look at it as an unknown debt," Bloomfield said.